Talk:Richard Dawkins/Archive 21

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Is Richard Dawkins a Philosopher?

Richard Dawkins meets all of the criteria to be classified as a philosopher. Definition: Philosophy is "the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language." Clearly, Mr. Dawkins engages in such studies. Furthermore, a philosopher - that is, a person engaged in philosophy - is "a person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy who uses this knowledge in their work, typically to solve philosophical problems. Philosophy is concerned with studying the subject matter of fields such as aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy." Again, Mr. Dawkins meets this criteria. — Preceding unsigned comment added by StylumCEO (talkcontribs) 16:08, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

You have a reliable source that states he's a philosopher? — raekyt 16:20, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
PLease put new comments at bottom of the talk page and sign your messages with four tildes (~~~~) — See the wp:talk page guidelines. Thanks.
Sure, perhaps he is a philosopher, but putting the new term in the infobox, would require the article to prominently mention that he is a philosopher, and that it turn would need solid wp:verifiable sources. DVdm (talk) 16:23, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Simple answer - NO. Unless Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Brian Cox, Margaret Thatcher and Neil Armstrong (and I) are also philosophers. SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 17:05, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

It is very sad that...

This article about Dawkins, (which defines himself both Agnostic-atheist, and not-an-atheist), Doesn't mention even one single time the word "Agnostic" or even the morpheme (Agnos), yet, time and again label the professor as an "atheist". is someone behind it? 79.179.134.180 (talk) 05:04, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

While he did at one point say that he was, on a scale of 1 to 7 about no belief in God, around 6.9 and therefore technically agnostic, he has also said that for all practical purposes he is an atheist and that this is the term is prefers to describe himself. There is no plot. --Bduke (Discussion) 06:20, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Indeed IP, if you had bothered to look in the yellow box at the top of this page it shows you where this has been discussed. Most of your high level plots don't leave breadcrumbs like that. Dbrodbeck (talk) 13:51, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Comment by IP

I think that you owe it to your readers to add Mr. Dawkins thinking on the God of the Koran. When asked by Al-Jazeerah in an interview if he thought the same about the God of Koran as he does of the Jewish and Christian God he said “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.” This is important for it infers that Dawkins cannot rule out the efficacy of God within some belief systems. Thus, is he really an atheist? (See Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society in London On February 24, 2013 as cited in the Wall Street Journal, Wednesday February 27, 2013, page A13). Mr. Murray suggests that he is actually a “survivor” (others would call that being a coward). If this is the case then shouldn’t Mr. Dawkins be forthright thus avoiding any confusion about his beliefs. Wouldn’t it be easy for him to say “I never comment on the God of the Koran. It would be hazardous to my health to do so.”107.207.242.75 (talk) 22:32, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Just because you don't know everything about every religion, doesn't make it mean you can't rule out supernatural explanations for things. The God of the Koran is essentially the same God as Christianity or Judaism, all three are abrahamic religions. (Sources: [1], [2]). Personally I don't see this as being all that important for a biography. It seems like quote-mining or drawing conclusions from just a single statement. The whole idea that he's afraid of Islam extremists thus not wanting to criticize Islam, is bullcrap, he's said PLENTY that would be more than enough for those nutter than squirrel shit idiots to want to kill him. — raekyt 22:53, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

RfC; NPOV and Consistency in the article

Per a request at WP:AN/RFC this discussion is closed with a large opposition to the two proposed changes. -Nathan Johnson (talk) 16:33, 24 March 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I know that Richard Dawkins is a hero to many, but shouldn't we still maintain NPOV and consistency? In particular:

  1. If we record that "Nobel laureates Sir Harold Kroto and James D. Watson...have lavished praise on...The God Delusion" shouldn't we also mention that Nobel laureates Anthony Hewish and William D. Phillips consider it "an atheistic rant"[1]?
  2. If we say "Dawkins...participated in an Oxford Union debate against [creationists]... with the motion 'That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution' being defeated by 198 votes to 115." shouldn't we also record that "In 2013 Dawkins and colleagues debated against Rowan Williams and colleagues the proposition that 'Religion has no place in the 21st Century' at the Cambridge Union and were defeated by 324 votes to 136[2][3]"?

What do people think? NBeale (talk) 10:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

A "'hero"? - DVdm (talk) 10:47, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Please address previous discussions before starting an RfC. While lots can be (and has been) said about the proposal, I don't think much more than this earlier comment is needed: "Articles like this (a biography of significant events in the life of a scientist) do not cover the latest score. Articles on religious topics do not get branded with every setback reported in the daily news, and neither do biographies.". Johnuniq (talk) 11:27, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • No, no, no and no. This has been discussed and NBeale has not liked the results of these discussions. There is no need for this RFC, we should simply move on. Dbrodbeck (talk) 14:25, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • This is tiresome. The Oxford debate is (possibly) worth reporting because it helps to illustrate a point, that Dawkins does not generally debate with creationists (though I'm not convinced that it is worth recording the result of the vote at the end of the debate). The recent Cambridge debate is irrelevant recentism. And what on earth has NBeale's unsubstantiated opinion that some people (I guess he means people here) see Dawkins as a "hero" got to do with it? Who exactly is it that is guilty of bias and pushing a point of view? SNALWIBMA ( talk - contribs ) 15:30, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Definitely no on #2, and a very weak maybe on #1. If reviews from notable people about his book are being included, they should reflect the proper weighting of sources in terms of positive vs. negative, but since this isn't the article on The God Delusion, this smells strongy of coatracking to push a negative view of Dawkins and his work. siafu (talk) 20:44, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
  • No to both. There is already too much critiquing of the book and it has both positive and negative views. Any more should go in the books article if anywhere. The mention of the Oxford debate is fine, but I would remove the note with the result and score. Debates should not be used to assert anything. AIRcorn (talk) 07:26, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposal is clearly one-sided, petty, and uninformed. For instance, if NBeale had bothered to read this article carefully, he would have noted that the ratio of individuals praising and criticizing Dawkins in the Advocacy of Atheism section is 4:5. Should we then add one more individual praising Dawkins's work just to balance the reception to his work? Plus, we cited more references of individuals criticizing Dawkins in this section than the other way round. Should we balance those references too? Finally, I wish to point out that NBeale clearly has a conflict of interest here, since he has devoted a bit of his time outside WP to criticizing Dawkins. Putting up this RfC under the pretext of NPOV is most disingenuous on his part. danielkueh (talk) 15:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Daniel's comments. I hadn't even realised who, exactly, OP was until Daniel pointed it out. Clearly some WP:COI issues here. Let's please close this discussion and be done with it; OP, I think it's worth reading WP:STICK. – Richard BB 15:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support conditionally. We could remove one of the Christian theologists' name and mention a Nobel Laureate instead to keep the ratio that Daniel mentioned the same. (both qualitatively and quantitatively).--Kazemita1 (talk) 06:26, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support 1 but Oppose 2 - I see some value in balancing praise from notable people with criticism from notable people, especially when all respondents are notionally from the same "category". I wouldn't, for example, support praise from nobel laureates being "balanced" by the inclusion of criticism from John Doe of the Suffolk County Tribune or something. The second, I think, is a bit pointless, though I understand the rationale. Stalwart111 00:45, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
  • RfC comment - First, the disclaimer. I have self-described myself as a Christian here pretty much from the beginning, and my own opinions on Dawkins tend to be less than positive. Having said that, I guess I have weak support for both points. Acknowledging Danielkueh's point above about the 4:5 ratio, it does make sense to me that if we present one "side" in the discussion based on their qualification as Nobel laureates, there isn't a lot of good reason to exclude other Nobel laureates, perhaps, like Kazemita1 suggests, by removing one of the theologians included in the "con" side, to keep the existing balance, if we want to keep it, which I assume from Daniel's comment is more or less acceptable as is. Regarding the inclusion of the second debate, I don't see myself how it is necessarily any less notable or significant than the first debate already mentioned, and if that is the case there isn't a lot of good reason to include one but exclude the other, or the vote regarding the latter if the vote regarding the former is included. If there are still more debates Dawkins has participated in, maybe the text could be reflected to indicate that he has taken part in multiple debates, with a record of whatever it winds up being for all the debates. This is not saying that I necessarily think either debate should necessarily be included. And, while I do acknowledge the first debate, dealing with evolution, is probably more relevant as per his specialization in that field academically, his invitation to take part in the second debate can not unreasonably be seen that, in the public eye, he is considered some sort of expert in that field as well, which would indicate it is potentially worth mentioning. This subject honestly strikes me as being of the type which might merit multiple articles, maybe including one specifically about Dawkins and his efforts to promote atheism, and if they exist or are created those subarticles might be the better place to put some of this information. But that isn't the question being asked here, so I am offering my comment based on the questions asked. John Carter (talk) 01:49, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Comment: When I gave that 4:5 ratio example, it was an attempt at sarcasm, albeit not a very good one. Regardless, it was not meant to be taken seriously. The larger point that I was trying to make is that this RfC is a farce that misses the big picture of what this article is all about. This article is about Richard Dawkins and the section on his Advocacy of Atheism is about his work on atheism. It is not about whether he debated with so and so or how many individuals voted for or against him. If we are going to be so pedantic about the number of critics, then perhaps we should start counting the number of words too. Right now, there are 36 words that are favorable to Richard Dawkins and 58 words that are unfavorable to him in the Advocacy of Atheism section. Should we equalize the number of favorable and unfavorable words in that section? Again, do you see how silly this is? If all the fuss is about some silly and obscure note mentioning the results of some Oxford Union Debate, then by all means, let's just remove that note and be done with it. It is not important. Problem solved. Yes? danielkueh (talk) 07:46, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Unfortunately, no. First, sarcasm in general rarely works without s ;) or smiley or whatever to indicate one is being less than serious, particularly when deaing with people who might not already be familiar with an editor individually. Trust me on this, I should know at this point, having somewhat regularly displayed at least a bit of a strange sense of humor around here myself. Having said that, I think my opinions remain more or less the same. His "advocacy of atheism" clearly includes public debates regarding atheism and religion in some way, particularly including any which might receive or have received significant broader attention. How significant they are in those broader efforts is another matter entirely, of course. Granted, his books are probably more significant in that regard, but in most if not all cases they are also probably notable enough and with enough content for separate articles on them. As one of the leading figures in the New Atheism movement, like I already indicated, I tend to think that there is probably sufficient significance, notability and material on the topic of Dawkin's promotion of atheism to merit the creation of a separate article dealing fairly exclusively with his involvement with atheism. Reference works on other belief or religious systems have very extensive articles exclusively on, for instance, Martin Luther's or John Calvin's philosophical or religious thought, which are themselves probably sufficient to provide the basis for whole series of articles on those topics here. I can see some benefit in having some mention in the article of these public debates, as well as TV and radio appearances, books, and so on, if Dawkins has expended significant time and energy in those areas.
In general, I have always thought that our best way to address issues like this is to consult existing reference works on the topic and more or less follow their lead in terms of weight, structure, and the like. I regret to say that I haven't myself yet looked for reference works on atheism/agnosticism/disbelief, because I still haven't gone through works on Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, mythology, and other, probably more broadly written about, topics. And, honestly, I don't know how many there are of such works, either. But, as I myself am basically answering without having consulted such works, I do think it makes sense to err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion regarding what seem to be broad areas of endeavor, including debates. John Carter (talk) 17:52, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
John, if you wish to start a page about Dawkins's work on atheism, you are welcome to do so. But that is a separate discussion altogether. On the issue of the number of votes following the Cambridge Union debate, I am not sure I understand the logic of saying that "....it makes sense to err on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion regarding....." My question as always is what is it that you hope to accomplish by including those statistics? How do those numbers help the readers understand Dawkins's advocacy on atheism? How does it fit with the rest of the text? How will it help maintain the GA status of this article? Yes, Dawkins has engaged in debates. But there is a big difference between reporting what Dawkins said during those debates (advocacy of atheism) and reporting how people voted after those debates (audience perspective of debates involving Dawkins). The Advocacy of Atheism section is about the former and not the latter. So unless there is a good and compelling reason to include these numbers, I think we can safely say there is no consensus for them. danielkueh (talk) 22:42, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
FWIW, I'm not myself entirely sure that the statistics on any of the debates are necessarily important, but it does seem reasonable to me to include information on the debates he has participated in. Not knowing the number of debates in which he has participated, I could see the text being limited to simply "He has participated in (however many) debates regarding religion," with perhaps additional information, like the votes or whatever you want to call them, if such is for whatever reason determined called for in whatever way. And, yeah, I do think it is possibly relevant to indicate whether debates or discussions of this type are persuasive or not. Some Christian ministers, for instance, fail dismally to convince anyone, including Christians, of their beliefs in such discussions, and if Dawkins does have an apparent overall good or bad record for persuasiveness in such debates, that would seem to be relevant for inclusion as well. Granted, if there are multiple verifiable debates he has taken part in, that might reduce the importance of the judgment of the viewers of any individual debate, but the evidence presented to date is only of the two debates, and I do think it worth noting that in those two debates he has not been what many would necessarily call overwhelmingly persuasive. John Carter (talk) 01:55, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose both The first proposal is unneeded since it would be undue when considering common feedback. We could for the same reason easily find reliable sources of people quoting the Bible as a patriarchal, genocidal monstrosity or as the Quran advocating the beating of women but that sort of thing is more appropriate for seperate articles we have on such issues. For instance we have Criticism of the Quran. Similarly that could be posted in Criticism of atheism. I oppose the second proposal because Dawkins has participated in dozens of debates and we do not need a bundled list here. Pass a Method talk 03:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose emphasis on audience responses to debates involving Dawkins. This article is about Dawkins, not the pathology of thought processes in the general population. --Epipelagic (talk) 18:11, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
References
  1. ^ Endorsing John Polkingorne's book Questions of Truth where it is so described on p30. Phillips speaks of "the polemic and misinformation that have characterised much of the writing in this area." Since I'm the co-author of QoT I can't add this to the article for COI reasons, but someone else fair minded might.
  2. ^ A moment of renewal, for the Church and country Daily Telegraph 2-Feb-2013
  3. ^ Richard Dawkins is the phall guy at Cambridge debate with Williams The Guardian 31-Jan-2013

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Edit request on 28 February 2013

From the Wall Street Journal, 27 February 2013:

Douglas Murray, of the Henry Jackson Society in London, writing in the Jewish Chronicle Online, Feb 24:

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of "the Old Testament" is "hideous" and "a monster," and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character "in fiction."

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: "Well, um, the God of the Koran I don't know so much about."

How can it be that the world's most fearless atheist, celebrated for his trident opinions on the Christian and Jewish Gods, could profess to know so little about the God of the Koran? Or is Professor Dawkins simply demonstrating that most crucial trait of his species: survival instinct.

99.190.16.82 (talk) 02:43, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

See above, and read WP:RECENTISM and WP:UNDUE. Dbrodbeck (talk) 03:22, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Individual quotes of statements to reported are not worthy of inclusion unless the quotes are further commented on by reputable third parties. Wikipedia does not repeat reports. It is likely that the Professor does not want to make inflammatory comments directed at religions outside his preferred audience. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:30, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
I have closed this edit request per the above two responses. —KuyaBriBriTalk 15:19, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
For the record, the quote is also completely taken out of context. IRWolfie- (talk) 00:21, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Suggested addition to Meme Chapter

It is important to note that when Dawkins coined the term 'meme,' he had a slightly different idea of the meme than what it came to be understood. As scholar Jeremy Burman has observed, Dawkins’ unit of cultural evolution “was not introduced purposefully as an ‘idea virus.’ It was a metaphor.” (1) It was only later, when other authors removed the meme from its context was the science of memetics formed. (2) Nor is this the only re-purposing of Dawkins’ ideas. A salient example of this is recorded by the author himself in the preface to the 1989 edition of The Selfish Gene, He writes: "From the outset the reviews were gratifyingly favorable an [The Selfish Gene] was not seen, initially as a controversial book. Its reputation for contentiousness took years to grow until, by now, it is widely regarded as a work of radical extremism. But over the very same years as the books reputation for extremism has escalated, its actual content has seemed less and less extreme, more and more the common currency." (3) In other words, while Dawkins on his own is a controversial thinker, readers and interpreters add a layer of controversy beyond the point he went. 1. Burman, Jeremy T. “The misunderstanding of memes: Biography of an unscientific object, 1976-1999.” In Perspectives on Science Volume 1, Number 1 (2012): 75-104. 2. Ibid, 81. 3. Ibid, 75-6. DelMaticic (talk)Del Maticic, April 17, 2013 —Preceding undated comment added 03:32, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Cultural Christian

      • I wan't to add this : Despite his rejection of religious he described himself in number of interviews as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican".[1][2][3][4]

But someone here think that the articale his own, i didn't bring anything from my mind the man had say that in number of interviews which part here is "NON SENSE". claming that "this may not be the best section for this topic" this non sense, I have a reliable sources and i have the rigth to add it, you don't have the write to remove it, if you claim that there's no connection between that and the paragraph i can move it to the paragraph of personal life.-Jobas (talk) 11:23, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Please read WP:CONSENSUS WP:UNDUE and learn that this is a collaborative project. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank for your advice, but you didn't give the reason why it have been removed, or what the wrong with the sentence?, i write what he saied i didn't bring something from my mind, if i move it to the section of personal life or biography will "still out of place".

to be: Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".[5] He was confirmed, and embraced Christianity until his mid-teens, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and ceased believing in a god.[6] Dawkins states: "the main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing."[6] While despite to his rejecting of the religion as whole he reagards himself in number of interviews as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican".[7][8][9][10]

--Jobas (talk) 12:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC),

I think the above comment by SmokeyJoe does a nice job explaining the situation. Dbrodbeck (talk) 16:01, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I modified the initial text to the one that was removed here: [3], but have no opinion as to whether it should be in the article or not, IRWolfie- (talk) 16:22, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

It's not about a an "Individual quotes of statements" since Dawkins ‎regard himself as Cultural Christian more than once, and the quote is not taken out of context or "misleading" since here it's explained that he still rejecting of the religion as whole. and there is no explanation further from the statement about what he said.

- He saied in interview with the BBC: ""This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. "So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history. "If there's any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists."

- and in anther interview interview previewing his speech at Charleston College in South Carolina he cited: Cultural Anglican, right? Yes, I guess I'm a cultural Anglican. But to tie that to belief about the origin of the universe, the origin of life, the nature of life, et cetera, is clearly ridiculous, and I don't think that the advantages of getting together once a week and singing together or something like that ­— insofar as that has community-building advantages, it most certainly does not need to go with fundamental beliefs about the cosmos. Those are separate and to be treated separately.

- and anther question he cited: ".... I mean, many people call themselves Jews, including Herb Silverman. He's a Jewish atheist. He identifies with Jewish culture, believes he's a part of the Jewish tradition, and that's valuable. I guess I'm a cultural Christian".

- And in vedio in the youtube he cited on the tongue: I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims.

it's not Individual quotes of statements or taken out of context. so while he rejecting of the religion as whole he described himself in number of interviews as a "Cultural Christian", so the sentence that i have added befor the modified didn't claim something else.--Jobas (talk) 16:40, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Jobas, there is nothing wrong with adding a sentence describing Dawkins as a Cultural Christian. I was objecting to the placement of that sentence as well as the way it was written. I have already explained in the first comment box that you first inserted that sentence midway within another sentence, which practically ruined the grammatically flow of that sentence. In your second attempt, you constructed a sentence that made absolutely no sense. Dawkins is a Cultural Christian not because he acknowledges the historical significance of Christianity, but because he still practices Christian traditions such as singing Christmas carols, etc. Anyone (Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc) can acknowledge the historical significance of Christianity, but that doesn't mean they are Cultural Christians. There is a subtle but very important difference here. Besides, how does that sentence transition to the next one, which is about Dawkins understanding of evolution and perception of other scientists accepting God? I am not trying to be disparaging but you really need to think this through. Your third proposed sentence above is not even grammatically correct. This is a BLP article (WP:BLP), which also happens to be a good article (WP:GA) as well. So try to be mindful of that. There are plenty of editors who would like to add their favorite tid bit about Dawkins. All I am asking is please, THINK about the ENTIRE article. Does your edit improve its quality or does it diminish it? danielkueh (talk) 16:47, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Dear Danielkueh i'm not the one who modified that he regard himself as Cultural Christian because he acknowledges the historical significance of Christianity, you can look at the history of the article, [4]. the one that i modified was "Despite to his rejecting of the religion he described himself in number of interviews as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican"."
I understand that there is no connection between that and the paragraph befor but if i added this in the paragraph of personal life or biography, will still no connection?.
For the grammer this will not be a an huge problem i will try to solve it (anyway english is not my mother language), "Despite his rejection of religion he regard himself as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican". - it's better now?. And why would adding that he reagard himself as "Cultural Christian" will reduce or diminish the quality of the article?.--Jobas (talk) 16:59, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Jobas, the Biography section is probably the best place for that. My preference would be the second paragraph. I suggest we discuss a new sentence/paragraph to replace the existing one. By the way, please indent your replies on this talk page by placing colon(s) (":") before each paragraph. It makes it easier for editors to distinguish your comments from the rest. danielkueh (talk) 17:34, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Ok, i think also that the second paragraph will better palce for it, do you agree with this:
  • Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".[11] He was confirmed, and embraced Christianity until his mid-teens, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and ceased believing in a god.[6] Dawkins states: "the main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing."[6] While he is an outspoken atheist and rejecting of the religion Dawkins regards himself as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican".[12][13][14][15]

--Jobas (talk) 17:46, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

To me this is all pointless. I was born catholic [and atheist]. Of course I'm part of a Christian tradition (I know what Christmas is, but I have only vague ideas of, say, similar Buddhist traditions.) As a westerner, Dawkins is focused on Christians traditions. Why mention him as a "cultural Christian"? We all are. --Fama Clamosa (talk) 17:50, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Dawkins regards himself as a "Cultural Christian" this not my word's, yes maybe many westerner atheist are consider to be a "Cultural Christian", but not everyone regards himself as that, and since he regards himself as cultural Christian in more than one interview then what the problem to mention it !.--Jobas (talk) 17:56, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Unnecessarily wordy. I suggest simplifying it as follows:
Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".[16] He was confirmed, and embraced Christianity until his mid-teens, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and ceased believing in a god while remaining a cultural Christian [17][18][19][20].[6] Dawkins states: "the main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing."[6] While he is an outspoken atheist and rejecting of the religion Dawkins regards himself as a "Cultural Christian" and "Cultural Anglican".[21][22][23][24]
danielkueh (talk) 18:10, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I am still not sure it merits inclusion, but, Daniel's solution would be ok if we are to use it. Dbrodbeck (talk) 18:12, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Dbrodbeck, I agree with you. Especially with "IF we have to use it." :D danielkueh (talk) 18:16, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I'm agree with your suggest danielkueh as you saied your objecting to the placement of that sentence as well as the way it was written, now after we changed the placement and the way it was written. Is still has problem??--Jobas (talk) 18:43, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I remain unconvinced that it warrants inclusion. Why is this so important that we must add it? Dbrodbeck (talk) 18:44, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Jobas, I was merely in agreement with Dbrodbeck that it doesn't seem like such an important detail that NEEDS to be included. But if it is included, I would prefer the solution that we all agreed upon above. Personally, I could go either way. The "cultural Christian" label doesn't seem like a big deal that it needs to have its own sentence but it is not controversial or misleading that I would oppose its inclusion. danielkueh (talk) 19:03, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
there are alot also of sentences here could seen as not important in the article what the important he was confirmed, , many sites talked about his regards as Cultural Christian since he is very famous outspoken atheist.--Jobas (talk) 18:50, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
The part "was confirmed, and embraced Christianity until his mid-teens" is a copy paste from the source. I've reworded it in the article. IRWolfie- (talk) 18:50, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps Jobas they are not important, and if you have suggestions to remove stuff by all means bring them here. However, the community of editors has determined that they are important. We need not include everything RD ever said. I think the fact that he was raised as an Anglican and then became an atheist of his own accord is notable. The fact that he still celebrates Christmas (assuming that is the case) as many atheists do, that is hardly notable in my books. Has this been noted in other articles about RD? BTW, being a cultural Christian is in no way counter to being an atheist. Dbrodbeck (talk) 18:58, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

What about this?

Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing".[25] He was a Christian until half way through his teenage years, at which point he concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and ceased believing in a god while remaining a cultural Christian.[26][27][28][29][6] Dawkins states: "the main residual reason why I was religious was from being so impressed with the complexity of life and feeling that it had to have a designer, and I think it was when I realised that Darwinism was a far superior explanation that pulled the rug out from under the argument of design. And that left me with nothing."[6]

-- Jobas (talk) 18:56, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

danielkueh can you make the conclusion now :D, Dawkins have saied that and the media talked about it, i think the discussion took too much and adding Cultural Christian as he regard him self is not not controversial or misleading espeacilly that he reagard that on his tongue. What it's or important is different from person to person some people will find that an outspoken atheist and regards himself as a "Cultural Christian" is notbale some peopple no, while anther people will see that his divorce or how many sister he has a notbale some will see not, but adding that he regards himself Cultural Christian will not diminish the quality of the article. Cultural Christian it's not a counter to being an atheist i didn't say that.--Jobas (talk) 19:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Jobas, it is not for me to decide. WP works by consensus (WP:consensus). If the rest feel it is ok, then go for it. Like I said, I have no problems with its inclusion. But I don't have the last word here. :) danielkueh (talk) 19:52, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I asked that from you since your who remove it :p. No problem will wait for the last word. :).--Jobas (talk) 19:56, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
My advice is to wait a few days for the rest to respond. No need to rush this. If consensus is reached, you can change it. danielkueh (talk) 20:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

When an editor selects something from a news report and adds it to a biographical article, the result is often WP:SYNTH—a form of original research where an editor decides what commentary is important to describe a subject. Text like "Cultural Christian" is rather pointed in the case of Dawkins who is known to many for his advocacy of atheism—any text suggesting that he is in some sense "Christian" therefore requires context and explanation. Something like this needs analysis by a secondary source. Johnuniq (talk) 00:39, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

I didn't selected something and take it out of it's context, This is what exactly saied: He saied in interview with the BBC: ""This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. "So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history. "If there's any threat these sorts of things, I think you will find it comes from rival religions and not from atheists." and here the word's from his tongue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzfOdMVZWE8. And he repeated that he is cultural Anglican and Christian at his speech at Charleston College in South Carolina. he with interview with Charleston: ".... I mean, many people call themselves Jews, including Herb Silverman. He's a Jewish atheist. He identifies with Jewish culture, believes he's a part of the Jewish tradition, and that's valuable. I guess I'm a cultural Christian".

BBC is not a reliable source?, his interview with Charleston Site is not a reliable source?, in the youtube video where he cited the same thing in his tongue "I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims. " it not also reliable?. the text is not suggesting that he is in some sense "Christian", it's just quoted what he said and exactly the same words that he use it, Cultural Christian it not mean that the person he Christian or believe in the christian dogma, it could include athiest or lapsed christians it's simply mean a secular or nonreligious or individual who still significantly identifies with Christian culture.--Jobas (talk) 00:59, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Text in an article should be reliably sourced, but that is not the issue here—the two links I posted explain the situation. I'm not implacably opposed to describing Dawkins as a cultural Christian, but looking at the issue another way, in an article on a scientist known for his writing on evolution and atheism, why would much be said about Christianity? That's where a secondary source should be used, because not everything that happens and is reported is worth adding to an article. Johnuniq (talk) 01:25, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
Sounds more like an off-hand sort of comment to me rather than a serious self-identifying label, especially considering the words "I guess". Agree that there is some OR and synth going on here, and a good dose of WP:UNDUE. I don't see any need to mention it at all. It too trivial in my opinion. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 01:30, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
A scientist known for his writing on evolution and atheism, describing himself as a cultural Christian, what the wrong not to mention it, it's not even give much or too much said about christianity!. When the media mention that and even as headline (Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian - BBC), then it's not "too trivial" or "no worth" to mention. Dominus Vobisdu I do not know why you disregarded that he also have described himself exaclly as a cultural Christian ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzfOdMVZWE8) and he cited that more than once so it's not kind off-hand sort of comment or a transient comment, when say that more than once it's mean he know what he talking about. anyway my suggestion is not go against the policy of the encyclopedia or the neutrality, and mention this small text "it's about two words" is not againt's Due and undue weight policy .--Jobas (talk) 02:24, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
It's not exactly a major part of his identity. It's the sort of off-hand comment he makes to get a chuckle from the audience. IRWolfie- (talk) 12:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
This is a classic case of WP:UNDUE. There is no need to include it. Has this been commented on many times by secondary sources? Why is it so damned important anyway? He is also wearing a beige coloured jacket in that video, shall we mention that too? Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:26, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
"It's the sort of off-hand comment he makes to get a chuckle from the audience"?? that your opinion and your analysis no sources for that he cited that more than once. When the media talked about it, Dbrodbeck there is no is NO connection between your example with this QUOTES, this totally different's please don't mocking the others edit's. I didn't make a whole paragraph for "Cultural Christian" quotes, it's not a classic case of WP:UNDUE. you make it a big deal it's just two word's that Dawkins say it. If it's major part of his identity or not, this another thing if it's backed with sources. But here i have sources that he regards him self as "Cultural Christian" the media talked about it so it's not something not worth to mention or some trivial comment, and metion it here will not reduce or diminish the quality of the article.--Jobas (talk) 13:04, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
He is wearing a beige jacket, that is clear from the video. It is about as important as the quote. Anyway, that is beside the point, there is clearly no consensus to add this material, we should just move on now. Dbrodbeck (talk) 15:02, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
whatever, do what you want but don't underestimate our minds, the media mention the quote then it's not about transient quote, when BBC mention the quote as headline and when the Charleston Site also mention it as healine then yes it sound importan or interesting!!!, but you just want to make it not worth or even contradict him, this is another thing. Anyway Dbrodbeck you know that there is no comparison does in any way between the quote and your trivial example. And in wikipeida it self article as Gael García Bernal and Dan Savage they mention that they described themelf as "cultural Catholic" even they are agnostic and athiest, sound interesting that in other articles they mention it and didn't see that there is no consensus to add this quote or not worth.--Jobas (talk) 00:36, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
While you go back and again look at WP:UNDUE and WP:CONSENSUS, both of which you seem to not understand, please also look at WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS Dbrodbeck (talk) 15:52, 8 April 2013 (UTC)


References
  1. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  2. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  3. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a Cultural Christian". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  4. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  5. ^ Pollard, Nick (1995-04). "High Profile". Third Way (Harrow, England: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd) 18 (3): 15. ISSN 0309-3492.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Hattenstone, Simon (10 February 2003). "Darwin's child". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-22. 
  7. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  8. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  9. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a Cultural Christian". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  10. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  11. ^ Pollard, Nick (1995-04). "High Profile". Third Way (Harrow, England: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd) 18 (3): 15. ISSN 0309-3492.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  13. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  14. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a Cultural Christian". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  15. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  16. ^ Pollard, Nick (1995-04). "High Profile". Third Way (Harrow, England: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd) 18 (3): 15. ISSN 0309-3492.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  19. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a [[cultural Christian]]". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05.  Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
  20. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  21. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a Cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  22. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  23. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a Cultural Christian". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  24. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.
  25. ^ Pollard, Nick (1995-04). "High Profile". Third Way (Harrow, England: Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd) 18 (3): 15. ISSN 0309-3492.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  26. ^ "Dawkins: I'm a Cultural Christian". BBC News. 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  27. ^ "Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’". Charleston City Paper. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  28. ^ "Richard Dawkins: I Guess I'm a Cultural Christian". Christian Post. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  29. ^ Richard Dawkins calls himself a Cultural Christian!. YouTube. Retrieved on 2009-04-07.

Researcher

Where can I see a list of his scientific publications? Please add an info about his citation indices. Infovarius (talk) 10:01, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps this article List_of_publications_by_Richard_Dawkins Dbrodbeck (talk) 13:25, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Agnostic

The article mentions that Richard Dawkins is an atheist, well, in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism he mentions that he is not an Atheist but an Agnostic leaning towards an atheist, so technically he is an Agnostic Atheist, fix this page or the other to avoid confusion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.64.3.200 (talk) 06:35, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

The Agnosticism article says
  • he prefers to categorize himself as a "de facto atheist".
  • Dawkins continues that "I am agnostic only to the extent that..."
  • Dawkins considers temporary agnosticism an entirely reasonable position, but views permanent agnosticism as "fence-sitting, intellectual cowardice."
I don't think there is much to be confused over. - DVdm (talk) 07:02, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Well he's an agnostic now. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9102740/Richard-Dawkins-I-cant-be-sure-God-does-not-exist.html --Xyzt1234 (talk) 15:23, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
That article's over a year old. I think everything from above still applies: he considers himself a de facto atheist. — Richard BB 15:29, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Note that the above also includes the resolved issues section just above the Contents, pointing to Talk:Richard_Dawkins/Archive 17#RfC: Atheist or agnostic?, and see also Talk:Richard Dawkins/Archive 19. - DVdm (talk) 16:23, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Gaia philosophy?

The term 'Gaia philosophy theory' (and link) in the phrase "He has also been strongly critical of the Gaia philosophy theory of the independent scientist James Lovelock." seems wrong. As far as I know Lovelock never put forward a 'Gaia philosophy theory' put a more specific 'Gaia hypothesis'. Also, 'Gaia hypothesis' is the term Dawkins uses the first time he refers (negatively) to the idea in 'The Extended Phenotype' (I just checked). I suggest the term be changed to 'Gaia hypothesis' - and the link to the WP article 'Gaia hypothesis'. 81.132.181.5 (talk) 16:03, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Makes sense, done, IRWolfie- (talk) 19:35, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Is Richard Dawkins a Philosopher?

Richard Dawkins meets all of the criteria to be classified as a philosopher. Definition: Philosophy is "the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language." Clearly, Mr. Dawkins engages in such studies, having written a book titled "The Magic of Reality" (2011) and a TV documentary titled "Enemies of Reason" (2007). Furthermore, a philosopher - that is, a person engaged in philosophy - is "a person with an extensive knowledge of philosophy who uses this knowledge in their work, typically to solve philosophical problems. Philosophy is concerned with studying the subject matter of fields such as aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy." Again, Mr. Dawkins meets this criterion.

Finally, Richard Dawkins earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree (D.Phil) in 1966. This, in conjunction with his body of work and the nature of his writing, classifies him as a Philosopher. Furthermore, Mr. Dawkins published an article in the Philosophy journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy titled: In Defence of Selfish Genes (1981). — Preceding unsigned comment added by StylumCEO (talkcontribs) 20:18, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

See Talk:Richard Dawkins/Archive 21#Is Richard Dawkins a Philosopher? The answer was no and remains no. Without a proper source that says that he is a philosopher, your above analysis is wp:original research. I have reverted your edit. And please sign your talk page edits, like we asked you before? Thanks. - DVdm (talk) 21:03, 26 June 2013 (UTC)
Note - I have put a third level warning for wp:NOR on your talk page. - DVdm (talk) 21:09, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

I have unearthed a new source. It is a work entitled: "Key Philosophers in Conversation: The Cogito Interviews" by Andrew Pyle. In it, Richard Dawkins is highlighted as one of the most important contemporary philosophers. See link here: http://cdn.preterhuman.net/texts/thought_and_writing/philosophy/key%20philosophers%20conversation.pdf. StylumCEO (talk) 17:17, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

That would be a very poor source. The section you are apparently referring to is the blurb-like summary at the beggining of the book. It's not part of the book itself, but was added later. It's a summary, so it's not meant to be exact, especially with regard to single persons on the list. Far more important is the short bio in front of the Dawkins interview itself, which does not support your contention that Dawkins is a philosopher except in the loose sense of the word. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:01, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

I disagree with your assertion. As you can see from this source, he was featured along with a group of notable philosophers, including Daniel Dennett. This series of interviews was released by a reputable source (a Professor at The University of Bristol), compiled from the philosophical journal Cogito, and published by Routledge (a global publisher of quality academic books, journals & online reference). The title page states: "The following eminent philosophers discuss their writings and philosophical concerns in a direct and accessible manner which will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike." StylumCEO (talk) 18:11, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Disagree all you want. The title page is not an integral part of the book. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:16, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Not everyone who pontificates about the nature of reality is a philosopher just as not everyone who generalizes based on experience is a scientist. Compare Dawkins' work to something like Kant's Critique of Pure Reason to understand what is meant by the term "philosophy" in contemporary usage. Sædontalk 18:24, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Richard Dawkins hasn't published a scientific paper since 2004. Indirect evidence suggests that he has retired from the field of Biology altogether. His body of work since 2006 consists of books concerning the nature of reality, reason, and ethics. His 2011 book, The Magic of Reality, has the tagline "How We Know What's Really True", which suggests Mr. Dawkins is dabbling in epistemology as well. His philosophy does not need to be a technical treatise in order for him to be called a philosopher. StylumCEO (talk) 19:17, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

That would be original research, specifically prohibited by our policy WP:NOR. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 19:35, 2 July 2013 (UTC)
Just because he has not published a scientific article since 04 (I'll take your word on that) does not mean he is no longer a scientist, that is just an odd piece of reasoning. I too don't think 'philosopher' belongs here. Dbrodbeck (talk) 20:20, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

He's a retired scientist who is now a full-time philosopher. Of course, that is so far only my opinion according to Wikipedia rules. However, I'm slowly building my case and I will take this to dispute resolution/arbitration as soon as the preponderance of evidence will tilt this argument in my favor. StylumCEO (talk) 20:43, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

That's an excellent idea! - DVdm (talk) 20:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

The problem here is that none of the editors on Wikipedia have an agreed framework to determine who is and who isn't a philosopher. The contributor above, Sædon, has yet to present his definition of a contemporary philosopher, other than to put forth Immanuel Kant as the benchmark we should measure Dawkins against. When does a scientist cross the line into philosophy? Do they need a degree specifically in philosophy? Can there be a scientist who writes philosophy part time even if he does not publically refer to himself as one? Can a non-academic be a philosopher? How are we to agree on a definition if none has been presented? According to Wikipedia source rules, I need to come up with a source that specifically names Dawkins as a philosopher, even if it can be deduced ex-parte that he is a philosopher by looking at his bibliography. This requirement is too narrow and creates a false dichotomy because it does not automatically put me in the original research category. The question is: does Dawkins engage in philosophy, and the answer is yes, he does. If Niels Bohr and Roger Penrose are philosophers, then so should Dawkins. StylumCEO (talk) 23:45, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

Look StylumCEO it's really very simple: either present at least one reliable source stating that Dawkins is a philosopher/bird watcher/sushi chef/etc or please drop the stick. As has been already pointed to you, basing an edit on your own personal interpretation of facts is original research and has no place in Wikipedia. Regards. Gaba (talk) 01:53, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
It's going to take a lot more than one single source. He will have to provide reliable sources that clearly demonstrate that Dawkins is WIDELY considered a philosopher, especially within the academic philosophy community. Sporadic occurences have little value, as they are probably overweighed by the MANY sources stating that he is NOT a philosopher. The claim is extraordinary (Dawkin's does not have an advanced degree in philosophy, has never held a position as a philosopher, and has published extremely little in the academic philosophical literature). Pretty solid reliable sources are needed. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 02:10, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

No, I'm not going to drop the stick. The elephant in the room is that Richard Dawkins has ventured off the beaten path into the field of philosophy. He is not merely a biologist as this article so states. If he were just a biologist, his work would consist of academic papers and perhaps a few books explaining the mechanics of biology and nothing more. Due to certain controversies surrounding Mr. Dawkins, many people consider him to be a "bad" or "amateur" philosopher and therefore his credibility in the field is compromised. The fact is, if you are a scientist, and you write books on the abstract concept of god and all the implications thereof, you are now a philosopher. The definition is that simple. Since god is a metaphysical idea, it is also a philosophical one according to the accepted definition of philosophy. I will search every nook and cranny of the internet and I will find a source that rightly classifies Mr. Dawkins as a philosopher. If I can't find any, I will wait until one is produced and pounce on it like a feral cat in heat and return to this forum and make it known to the world that Richard Dawkins belongs in the same category with the rest of the great philosophers in history. I will wait for years, until I am dead if I have to and then I will leave it in my last will and testament so that my wish could be realized. StylumCEO (talk) 02:18, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Haha, ok, I'll definitely give you points for funny XD. Cheers mate. Gaba (talk) 02:45, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree that Dawkins fits general descriptions of a specialized scientist who ventures outside his expertise and "waxes philosophical". Usually, this involved a scientist of one field straying into broad statements on another field, biology straying into metaphysics fits. Whether this "philosophical" is a different usage to accepted usage in liberal studies, I wouldn't be surprised, but at face value he doesn't seem different to ancient or scientific philosophers. OF course, for inclusion here, the test is whether others discuss him as a philosopher. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:01, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
He doesn't consider himself a philosopher: "Well, I am not a philosopher, and that’ll be obvious. Perhaps you should have invited a philosopher…".[[5]] [[6]]. Pretty hard to argue with that. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 03:11, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Featured article

I notice a lot of active editors patrolling this page. Anyone interested in trying to get this article up to featured article? IRWolfie- (talk) 19:21, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Sure, but I can only play a supporting role (for now). danielkueh (talk) 20:25, 1 August 2013 (UTC)

Divorce with Eve Barham

I found out when he divorced Eve Barham here http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times . It says 1999. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Multi.flexi (talkcontribs) 20:44, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

In the box on the top right, it says that he married Lalla Ward in 1992. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.143.239.144 (talk) 09:23, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Controversy

Just wondered why there isn't a controversy section? Dawkins is known for fairly outrageous statements, recent outbursts on Twitter for example. For the sake of balance I feel this stuff should be mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 5.70.80.14 (talk) 22:26, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Controversy sections are generally lousy writing and become WP:COATRACKs so they are avoided. You can see however in the article that there is criticism etc. You should also read the talk page archives for some context on this. Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:21, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Is this worth a talk page FAQ? People glancing at the article and taking the lack of a standalone "Criticism" section to mean that the article documents no criticism of him seems to come up with some regularity. --McGeddon (talk) 08:55, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

I was thinking something similar, glad this was already raised. Dawkins is a controversial figure, at least in the US, and a few of his media appearances (my favorite being on Bill O'Reilly years back where Dawkins goes off on Mr. O'Reilly) probably highlight this. I think his campaign to 'arrest' the Pope in England should have some coverage too. Dawkins is very much a cultural figure in my opinion but I don't think the article reflects that as much. Hoping we can have some more clarity on that here. Philosophyfellow (talk) 14:32, 4 November 2013 (UTC)

Atheist vs. New atheist reverts

There is no doubt Dawkins self-identifies as an atheist. I cannot see where he calls himself a new atheist here or in the target article. Others may want to label him that but that is not enough. --NeilN talk to me 18:39, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Criticisms

It is unusual that his page has no criticism section. Specifically, Dawkins has been criticized for remarks about pedophilia. [1] This is absolutely relevant to the entry.

Please see the entry on Sam Harris for an appropriate use of criticism of living persons.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Jfut76 (talkcontribs) 22:28, 19 November 2013‎

look here [7] this has been discussed, a lot actually. Dbrodbeck (talk) 22:58, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
There are two issues here that are not addressed sufficiently. First, why is there no criticisim section for Dawkins but there IS one for Sam Harris? You should check out his entry, its very fair and balanced. It's also very informative.
Second, why does the RD entry NOT include his comments about being exposed to molestation? It doesn't have to be under a criticism section but it needs to be included. It is absolutely relevant to the man and his comments about early education. Please see his own website for more information http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/9/7/the-world-according-to-richard-dawkins-the-times --Kdie84 (talk) 15:25, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Just a general note to all editors involved with the edit wars both here and on Sam Harris (author), I have opened a sock puppet investigation regarding Kdie84. — Richard BB 15:34, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Having just read the criticism section in Sam Harris (author), I suggest that is a very good argument for not having one on Dawkins. --Bduke (Discussion) 20:01, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, criticism sections simply provide a platform for those who don't like the subject of an article to write negative things about them, often without proper sourcing for the negative things being written, just that someone else disagrees. It's a classic way of sneaking POV and BLP content into an article. The opinions of those who disagree belong in their articles, not the articles of those they don't like. HiLo48 (talk) 20:18, 20 November 2013 (UTC)
Jfut and Kdie84 blocked, see Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Kdie84. Dougweller (talk) 16:32, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
Not being involved in the whole editing microcosm, I just thought I would leave a comment to add my impression that the absence of a controversy/criticism section is indeed noticed. I specifically came to this article and then to the talk page just to have a quick idea of the controversies surrounding Dawkins. It goes without saying that that kind of sections (as everything else in wikipedia or elsewhere, mind you) need to be taken with a pinch of salt, reason why I am not sure if the work of wikipedia editors should be to eliminate whole sections merely because "they tend to POV, BLP, etc" - I would find it more fitting if editors worked to ensure those POV, BLP elements were edited out, leaving in pieces of information that do not fall into that category.130.231.156.80 (talk) 08:35, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Some of the scientists mentioned in this article who have a controversy or criticism section: E. O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould (also a criticism section in the linked article Non-overlapping magisteria), Steven Rose (the section about his work has title: "Research and scientific controversies"), Leon Kamin (article has four sections: criticism, bibliography, references, external links), Jacques Derrida, Steven Pinker, Peter Singer.
Seems to me that some articles deserve a criticism or controversy section (not necessarily the ones I mentioned), because it is an important aspect of the person or his work in general. Let's face it, Dawkins creates more controversy with his twitter account than most scientists do in their entire career. Or maybe the "no criticism section" policy should be enforced more consistently...Ssscienccce (talk) 21:11, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

"influences"

given that richard dawkins is far below sir roger, dr hawking or dr higgs, i propose we remove this section. it simply isn't good form to allow any scientist to cite his influences as if he's a top xx (arbitrary 2-digit number here) all time scientist. he's not. further: the edacity of him talking about his influences, and talking up the great Fisher (he's my guy) bothers me. i really propose we change the optics as to how this man is viewed as a figure in the commonwealth's scientific canon

- signed, a deeply concerned commonwealth citizen — Preceding unsigned comment added by I3roly (talkcontribs) 20:38, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

text accompanying footnotes 98 et seq.

the criticism, particularly eagleton footnote 100, is that dawkins has misconstrued and caricatured the philosophical arguments he claims to have debunked. another source for this would be edward feser, the last superstition, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/9781587314520. therefore it is not sufficient to quote dawkins in response saying "theologians are no better than scientists in addressing deep cosmological questions." if he has responded to the criticism that he has not understood or has intentionally misrepresented aquinas, we need that cite. otherwise, the text should identify eagleton's and feser's specific criticism, and should say "without responding directly to this criticism, dawkins has said theologians are no better," etc. Zach bender (talk) 21:05, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

This article is meant to be about Dawkins, not what his critics think of him and what he says. I'd prefer to see just Dawkins' views here. The views of his critics belong in their own articles, if they are notable enough to have them. HiLo48 (talk) 22:12, 11 April 2014 (UTC)
any number of other bios on wikipedia that give space to criticisms of the subject's ideas. dawkins is notable largely for his expressed views. criticism comes with that territory. Zach bender (talk) 01:24, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
And, if the criticism is notable it will be in an article about the criticizer. This is Richard Dawkins not people who don't like things Richard Dawkins said. We have discussed this a great deal, you can check the archives if you would like. Dbrodbeck (talk) 01:30, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
possibly i am mistaken, but my initial comment was directed to the accuracy and completeness of existing text, which apparently has survived the archived discussions. i am not proposing to introduce new criticisms, though feser is a good source. eagleton, already cited, is sufficient, i guess, but his critique is insufficiently expressed, giving the appearance that dawkins' "response" was adequate to the critique. dawkins wrote a book, and people knowledgeable in the subject area said his arguments were not well grounded. specifically, that he grossly misconstrued aquinas and ended up debunking a straw man. if we mention the book, which surely we should, then we should mention the criticisms and not merely by saying "some folks disagreed, but dawkins said who cares," but by identifying what the criticisms were and noting whether he addressed those criticisms. as was done with respect to "the selfish gene." 71.36.187.111 (talk) 01:59, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
signature to previous comment did not go through.Zach bender (talk) 04:35, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
i might also note that if we were working with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:FRINGEBLP the current policy there is that if someone is advancing a theory outside his area of expertise "that depart[s] significantly from the prevailing or mainstream view in its particular field" that fact should be noted. dawkins is not a metaphysical philosopher, and his arguments have been identified by those who do actually work in that field as superficial and misdirected. Zach bender (talk) 16:55, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
Oh, FFS! You really do have it in for the guy, don't you? Have you never expressed an opinion on an area in which you don't have a doctorate? Your POV is far too clearly on display. It shouldn't be. It's Dawkins we're discussing here, not what anybody, including you, thinks of him. HiLo48 (talk) 21:40, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
i very much enjoyed his book on "the selfish gene," and was somewhat disappointed in the tone of "the god delusion." i myself do not have a point of view on the validity of dawkins' cosmology, though i think he himself proceeds from unacknowledged premises. i have some difficulty with aquinas for the same reasons.
i believe i have sufficiently explained in my previous two posts why some editing would be appropriate here. we are building an encyclopedia here, which should serve as a resource for people who have not looked as deeply into each of these sources as you or i have. Zach bender (talk) 00:59, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Your personal opinions on these matters are of no interest to Wikipedia.--Charles (talk) 09:27, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
thanks, charles. i was responding to hilo48's ad hominem. my point being, let's suppose i personally, albeit irrelevantly, did _not_ "have it in for" dawkins. let's suppose i am interested in putting up the best info possible for the casual reader. let's suppose at the other extreme i am trying to build dawkins up. in any of those three cases, the proposed edit would be offered for the purpose of "improving" the entry. someone who actually knows this particular controversy, reading this section, would be struck by the fact that it presents dawkins' view of the matter more sympathetically than that of his critics. that's all, no matter. anyway, i am reading over on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Consensus that the way for me to have approached this would have been to make the edit and then work through the reversions. my experience with consensus building in the "real" world did not suggest this to me. Zach bender (talk) 20:22, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
Why should the article present his critics' view at all? That information belongs in their articles. HiLo48 (talk) 23:11, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
If reliable sources comment critically about Dawkins, then his biography is the best place for the information. Binksternet (talk) 01:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Rubbish. Put it in the articles on those reliable sources. HiLo48 (talk) 02:59, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm sympathetic to Dawkins, not a critic. However, I continue to believe that critical voices aimed at Dawkins have their place in this biography. The topic is Dawkins, right or wrong. Some reliable sources talking about Dawkins are highly critical. Binksternet (talk) 04:43, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
We can write about what Dawkins has done. We can write about what he has said. Nothing at all is gained by adding opinions about him from other people. Our readers can decide for themselves what they think of him, and don't need to be told how to think by others. That information is about them, not Dawkins. HiLo48 (talk) 04:56, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't see your assertion in any of Wikipedia's policies. Instead, I see in WP:NPOV that "All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view", and that "Editing from a neutral point of view (NPOV) means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic." So if reliable sources criticize Dawkins, we tell the reader about them. Binksternet (talk) 05:12, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I disagree. The most neutral thing to say about someone is nothing. Millions of words have been written about Dawkins. As soon as you choose just some of them, you are cherry-picking and adding POV. HiLo48 (talk) 06:24, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Again, I'm not seeing your assertion echoed in Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Certainly there is not guideline that says to write nothing about a person. If "millions of words" have indeed been written about Dawkins, then we would be remiss if we chose to say nothing. Instead, we are directed to represent "fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic." Binksternet (talk) 06:38, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Given Dawkins' controversial position, that's going to be very difficult to achieve. There have already been many bitter disputes over the years over which criticism to include. HiLo48 (talk) 08:21, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate that the task is difficult, that it has long been difficult, largely because drive-by editors dump their venom here from time to time, without heed to the overall balance. Nevertheless I think the task is worth doing. The reader will be best served by including balanced criticism. Binksternet (talk) 15:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that most proposals have been way over the top, with the opinion of people with no achievements being coatracked on a page about Dawkins. An abstract discussion with no proposal is unlikely to be productive. Johnuniq (talk) 00:06, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

Dr. Dawkins on eugenics and medical ethics

Dawkins asks for us to discuss and debate the medical ethics of designer babies and eugenics. Can someone add this to the article? It seems the article is lacking in Dawkins contribution to medical ethics.

By Richard Dawkins

IN the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous - though of course they would not have used that phrase.

Today, I suspect that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change. Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular. The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from "ought" to "is" and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible. But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as "these are not one-dimensional abilities" apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.

I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler's death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons. Or why it is acceptable to train fast runners and high jumpers but not to breed them. I can think of some answers, and they are good ones, which would probably end up persuading me. But hasn't the time come when we should stop being frightened even to put the question?

Richard Dawkins is Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University http://www.heraldscotland.com/from-the-afterword-1.836155

Publiceditz (talk) 00:27, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

That's not a "contribution to medical ethics". It's essentially a blog thought-of-the-day. What would the article say: "in 2006 Dawkins asked a provocative question relating to Hitler"? Johnuniq (talk) 01:10, 15 April 2014 (UTC)